“Stay close to people who feel like sunlight.” — Unknown
“There is a depth to life which only comes from our connection to other people. However, we have to find it without becoming a prisoner.”-Donna Goddard, Waldmeer
“For your closest relationships, I like to sum it up this way: Human connection is being fully known and fully loved.”-Dr. John Delony
LEGO bricks come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. But with all that variety, what they have in common is that each one can connect with every other one. Early LEGOs were made to stack. The ability to connect was a revolutionary change that set them apart from simple building blocks. Not all LEGOs have equal capacity, but all are made to connect.What is one thing we all have in common? It’s the need to belong and receive love. God designed us for love, and we receive and give love through connection. We are created to connect with our Creator and with one another. Being in relationship with God allows us to experience His love, which satisfies our deepest longings and transforms our lives.
Soul to Soul: Communications from the Heart by Gary Zukav has a chapter called “Six Cars,” Zukav tells the story of the occupants of six cars that were stranded at an off-ramp of a highway near Denver, Colorado, during a blizzard. The freezing temperatures made death by freezing a real possibility for the motorists.
They all could have remained in their cars, but there was no way of knowing when rescue would be possible, and all of them could have run out of gas and frozen to death. Instead, they solved their problem this way: Five of the motorists turned off their cars and all got together in one car that was kept running for as long as possible, until the fuel gauge was at about a quarter of a tank. Then they moved to the second car, which they ran until it, too, was down to a quarter tank. After that, they moved on to the third car. When the snowplow finally arrived to dig them out, all the motorists were safe and warm, and everyone still had enough gas to get to a local hotel until they could return to their homes.
Zukav, who read about these people in the newspaper, cites this story as an example of a new way of thinking that can offer human beings a way to survive in troubling times. When we realize our connection with one another and agree to cooperate with others rather than remain separate, we increase our chances of survival, because, as the saying goes, “two heads are better than one.” In this case, more than two heads.
According to Zukav, the act of leaving their own car and getting into a stranger’s car with other strangers was a powerful symbol for the idea of leaving your own state of self preservation and seeking to understand and honor others’, to connect with them. This is a first step toward true connection and cooperation with others. All life is connected, and it is important for us to learn how to manifest this thinking in our daily lives.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, besides food, water, and safety, love and belonging are the most important needs we must fulfill. This includes our desire for interpersonal relationships, intimacy, to connect with others, and to be integrated into a group. When these needs are met, our overall well-being improves, and we live a more fulfilled life.
My friend, as you enter into this journey of connection, I want you to know that connection is the experience of oneness. It’s having shared experiences, relatable feelings, or similar ideas. It is the feeling of belonging to something greater than oneself. Connection is about other people—not you. It’s about hearing each other, digging below the surface, and choosing to truly understand someone’s picture of reality. You cannot be connected with someone if you’re distracted by your phone or letting your mind wander. You cannot be connected to someone if you’re always waiting for your turn to speak or to tell your version of a story they’re telling. Even if you’re just sitting with each other in silence, being fully present is absolutely essential for connection.
When you’re watching a sporting event with your friends, you’re experiencing connection. When you gather with your family for dinner or open up and express your authentic feelings to another person or find you have something in common with someone, you’re experiencing connection.
Friends, what if we fully engaged with all people and never thought for a moment that we had to judge them? What if we could just love them without ever believing we were condoning their sin?
Friends, try to connect with people who have a positive outlook and can make you laugh and help you. The more positive your relationships are, the better you will be able to face life’s challenges.It can feel daunting to put yourself out there and open yourself up for criticism or judgement, but finding a community of people with similar interests is a sure-fire way to nourish your soul.